Born near the river in southeastern Ohio, John picked up a guitar in 1964 and has yet to put it down. In his music you’ll find the imprint of small town America. The sound of laughing, rain-washed streets, carrying bits of the ordinary into bubbling streams; tumbling, traveling, transforming on the way to the ocean called Life. You’ll hear the sound of six strings on a journey, whispered pilgrim tales, celebrating, moving, beating, the pulsing of a wakened heart.
- Reviews -
There are some albums where few words are required to put over the general opinion. OK, so here goes: Buy this album - buy it now! Not good enough for you? Well, here's the long answer then: Buy this album and you'll enter a state of sublime musical grace that no amount of Britney Spears or Jo-Lo will subvert. Stories is one of the best albums I've heard in a long time, and we are talking real music here, not stuff created by fiddling with a few samples on a computer, or thumping the pads on a drum box.
I'm talking about instrumental music of the acoustic kind - John Morgan is a guitarist of the highest calibre, a magical fingerpicker ranking up there with John Fahey, Chet Atkins, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. Subtly and sympathetically backed by his 'friends', the fourteen tracks on this superb cd sparkle and shine, shimmer and shimmy, with many of them leaving you humming the tune after just one listen. The understated backing of percussion, flute, fretless bass and voice leave the guitar as the star, and the man can play - country, folk, blues, traditional, it all seems to have been mixed together to form a new style of gumbo, and it's damned tasty.
The bottom line is that this music lifts the spirits instantly, from track one to the finale. In many ways this is the happiest album that I've ever heard, and I can't pick out highlights - every track brings out the sunshine. God knows we need more music like this. This is the ideal album to relax to after a stressed out day, or if you need the spirits recharged. You probably think I'm going over the top here, and perhaps I am a little, but there's no denying this album is fabulous and deserves to be in every discerning music fans' collection. –
John PetersThe Borderland
"Stories" caught my attention quickly with the very first cut, and was a consistent delight throughout the entire recording. John Morgan has a distinctive flair that always surprises. John's fingerstyle acoustic guitar is enhanced by bass, percussion and flute in various combinations, and there is a smooth, stylish energy among all the instruments. The warm of the very musical "Stories" will keep you captivated and entertained.
Randall Leonard - Holistic Journal (Nov/Dec '99)
"John Morgan is good at what he does...very good. "Stories," the follow up to his highly touted first release, "The Journey," is a wonderful example of how purely instrumental music can convey emotion and images without ever saying a word. Using a distinctive fingerstyle technique, Morgan transforms the sounds of his acoustic guitar (mixed with bass and flute) into wonderful tales filled with tangible sentiment. Like the upbeat anticipation of "Awakenings," the excited curiosity of "Tickets to the Circus" or the quiet reverence of "Winterprayer." It's not hard to imagine this album finding a permanent place next our quieter moments. It is contemplative but rhythmic, forthright but humble. Most of all, though, it is enjoyable. The musical tales found in Morgan's "Stories" are worth listening to over and over again."
Frederick Schmitt PreAmp.com
"For you acoustic guitar lovers, here's a new one, filled with surprises, twists and upbeat guitar tunes. Master guitarist John Morgan provides a breath of fresh air." Christina Lord Creations Magazine
"14 delightfully uplifting 'fables in wood, wind and steel' with the main voice being the flawless acoustic guitar stylings of John Morgan are offered in this wonderful release. Sounding like a gentle version of Michael Hedges, John's delicate fingerstyle guitar melodies are quite captivating, taking the listener into a world that is teeming with optimism, joy and friendly Stories. A great daybreaker, these soundscapes will also help create positive atmospheres at work, on the road or anytime that a lift in spirits is called for. Highly recommended to all lovers of acoustic guitar music."
Rev. Robert Walmsley Musical Soundscapes
"Where one is from isn't as important as where one is headed, and good friends make the journey that much sweeter. This simple sentiment forms the basis for an exceptionally beautiful selection of instrumental acoustic music that helps one enjoy the adventure of everyday living. Morgan is an incredibly articulate guitarist blessed with the gift of being able to convey in four minutes of music what it would take several books to relay. His musical "stories" describe beloved imaginary characters who dance in "Luminescent Shoes" and embrace "The Unexpected Stranger" as they share the marvels of their travels. One is quickly immersed in this good company as the brightly hued music flows smoothly like a water-color, pausing now and then for a fun and funky time-out "By the Well of Joy" or a romantic rendezvous to express "What Words Can't Say." There's many a good instrumental tale here, much to bring a secret smile, a private dance step; this is feel-good music of the finest grade for anyone open to insipiration."
The Monthly Aspectarian (June '99)